TBCBSP General Meeting at Shearer's Bridge in Manheim, PA                                    August 3, 2014


Joyce called the meeting to order at 1:27.


Joyce thanked Jim Smedley for presiding over the June and July meetings.  She also thanked Pam for arranging the pavilion today next to the bridge we painted.


Guest Darlene Bucher introduced herself.  She lives 2 miles from here.  Her brother-in-law was Ray Bowersox, who was very active in our Society years ago.  She has his collection of covered bridge stuff and is exploring her options what to do with it.  She is here to find out more about us.


The July minutes, prepared by Gloria Smedley, were read by Heather Watkins and were approved as read.


The July treasurer’s report was read by Bob and was approved as read.  The society currently has 397 members, which is 26 less than 1 year ago.


Covered Bridge Reports from Members:


Ben Evans reported that he attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Schlicher's Bridge (PA-39-06 #2).  He said it was the least impressive ceremony he has ever attended.  He also visited Wehr's Bridge (PA-39-02) and noted that the damage done by the truck appeared to be minimal; he spoke to the policeman who arrested the truck driver.  The truck weighed more than 76,000 lb (38 tons)  when the posted limit was 10 tons.  The driver was fined $16,000.  The bridge was recently found to be safe and was reopened with a 4-ton limit and a ban on all trucks.


Steve Wolfhope visited 3 bridges on 7/22 on his way home from the Outer Banks:  Pisgah (NC-76-01), Jacks Creek (VA-68-02), and Bob White (VA-68-01).  On 7/31 he visited Knapp/Luther's Mill Bridge (PA-08-01), which is a really nice bridge and easy to take pictures of.


Michael Chorazy reported that he visited every covered bridge in Bucks, Lehigh, Chester, and Indiana Counties in the last month.  With the exception of bridges like Rapp's Dam and Speakman, they are all in good shape.  At the Brandywine Conservancy, Hayes Clark Bridge (PA-15-07 #2) looks to be finished, while Mary Ann Pyle Bridge (PA-15-06) had the deck completely torn out and workers were on site.  Speakman #1 Bridge (PA-15-05) had no materials or equipment on site as of 7/25.  On 7/10, he attended the rededication of the new Schlicher's Bridge (PA-39-06 #2) and noted that it appeared to be "authentic modified".  Last Sunday he attended the meeting of the National Society in Washington County along with the not-so-mini-safari, which included 9 bridges in 4 hours.  On 7/20, he attended the picnic of the Ohio Historic Bridge Association at Muskingum County's Salt Creek Bridge (OH-60-31) and heard Terry E Miller discuss his new book, America's Covered Bridges.  He passed around a stack of brochures from Indiana County on their 4 bridges.


Pat Cook reported that she, Tina, and Bonnie visited Clyde & Arlene Bradley on 7/26 & 7/27 at their covered bridge "museum".  They also attended the National Society meeting at East Finley Park in Washington County and saw Wyit Sprowl's Bridge (PA-63-29) and 5 romantic shelters.  She noticed on her way here that the Train Museum a few blocks from here is having an open house today.


Katie Helm reported that she has visited Fort Hunter several times this summer and has seen the water up to the bottom of the deck, but the bridge has not been under water.


Betty Miller reported that the paint is peeling on the approaches at Poole Forge Bridge.  They have the paint and they will have someone do the repairs soon.


Clyde Scheib reported that he and Alda got lost coming here today.  They might finally buy a GPS.


Ray Finkelstein has pictures from the mini-safari if anyone would like to see them.


Officer Reports


President -- Joyce Soroka


Attended the photo-op with Governor Corbett on Friday July 18.  Those able to attend were Bob Kuether, Tina Conn, Tom Walczak, Pam Heisey, Campbell Fitzhugh and Campbell’s Mom.  Campbell signed and presented his book to the Governor and Campbell's Mom took lots of photos.


First VP -- Jim Smedley -- not present, no report


Second VP -- Greg Williams


Visited Rock Bridge, but could not get very close due to all the equipment on site.  Also visited Zimmerman, Schenk's Mill, and Kauffman's Distillery Bridges.


Cleaned out a file drawer and found photocopies of old pamphlets that include Sand Beach Bridge in Hershey and Camelback Bridge.  He brought them today for anyone to take.


His sister and her husband were on vacation in Massachusetts and mailed Greg a postcard saying they were going to a few covered bridges and the museum in Vermont.


Third VP -- Tom Walczak -- not present, but Joyce read the report he sent:


After last month's meeting on July 6th he visited Bitzer's Mill Bridge, PA-36-04 and Keller's/ Guy Bard's/Rettew's Mill Bridge, PA-36-13, both in Lancaster County. Both were in good shape.


On July 18th he traveled to Harrisburg, PA to our state's capitol to attend the photo op. with Gov. Tom Corbett. It was a very enjoyable day and he was very pleased to be a part of the delegation representing the Society and making the Governor aware of the importance of our state's covered bridges.


Following the photo op. with the Governor he ventured south toward Baltimore for the rest of the weekend but stopped at Heike's Bridge, PA-01-14, and Sachs Bridge, PA-01-01, both in Adams County. Again both bridges appeared to be in good condition.


On July 20th he visited Walter's Mill/Roberts/Cox Creek Bridge, PA-56-05, in Somerset County at the Somerset Historical Center. It too was in good condition.


On July 13th and July 27th he visited 9 covered bridges in Washington County, PA. He volunteered to lead a mini-safari for the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges, Inc. which held their monthly meeting on Sunday, July 27th at East Finley Township Park, the new home to the Wyit Sprowls Covered Bridge, PA-63-29. Seventeen people from 4 states attended the meeting with 14 of the 17 people attending being Burr Society Members. Following the National meeting we visited the following covered bridges:   Wyit Sprowls, PA-63-29; Plants, PA-63-26; Sprowls, PA-63-03; Longdon L. Miller, PA-63-22; Crawford, PA-63-10; Danley, PA-63-11; Erskine, PA-63-15; Mays, PA-63-23; Brownlee, PA-63-09.  The bridges all seemed to be in good condition and the rain held off for the most part although it did rain a bit at one or two of the bridges.



Fourth VP -- Tina Conn


Attended the photo op with Governor Corbett.


Attended the meeting of the National Society along with Pat and Bonnie.


She could not attend the most recent meeting about Bartram's Bridge, but will find out what happened.


She saw on Facebook that a truck caused damage to the Ashland Bridge in Delaware.


Recording Secretary -- Heather Watkins


Saw the St. Mary's Bridge this weekend and noticed that it had a fresh coat of paint.  Joyce said she recently learned that a group of local people had painted the bridge.


Corresponding Secretary and Program Chair -- Pam Heisey


Barbara McCauley sent an article to the P.O. box saying that Little Gap Bridge will re-open in November.  Barbara also said she went to see Schlicher's Bridge the day it re-opened and they had done a wonderful job.


Treasurer -- Bob Kuether


The Country Store has a book on NJ covered bridges for $17 and America's Covered Bridges for $25 instead of the retail price of $40.


Historian -- Fred Moll -- not present, no report


Newsletter Co-Editors -- Jim and Gloria Smedley -- not present, no report


Reports of illness or death of members:


Joyce reported that Tom Walczak is not here today because his dad has been very ill all week with pneumonia and he felt he should stay close to home this weekend. He is improving with medication.


Bob reported that Desi has been in and out of the hospital for her knee surgery and subsequent infections.  She is home now, doing better, and walking.


Old Business -- none


New Business:


Joyce thanked Ray Finkelstein and Steve Wolfhope for serving on the nominating committee.


Ray read the nominating committee's slate of officers for the 2014-2015 year:



President - Tom Walczak

1st VP – Jim Smedley

2nd VP – Ray Finkelstein

3rd VP - Steve Wolfhope

4th VP - Ed Myers

Treasurer – Bob Kuether

Recording Secretary - Gloria Smedley

Corresponding Secretary - Pam Heisey

Historian - Fred Moll


Joyce announced that next year's safari will be in Chester County and Michael Chorazy will lead it.


Ben Evans said he received a mailing from Trish Kane on behalf of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Resource Center in Oxford, NY.  They are looking for donations since they have a donor to match the funds.  He asked if our Society would donate.  Joyce said we have not received that request.  Michael Chorazy added that the Ohio Historic Bridge Association is donating $1,000.  We will add this to the agenda for next month.


Katie Helm showed everyone samples of 2 Christmas stockings she made with covered bridge material that we may be able to sell at the Christmas Show.


Announcement of Covered Bridge and related events:


Washington & Greene County, Pennsylvania 44th Annual Covered Bridge Festival

September 20-21, 2014


Columbia-Montour Covered Bridge Festival October 2-5, 2014


Announcement of next meeting date:


Sunday, September 7, 2014 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 2 p.m.  Annual meeting will include the election of officers, Memorial service and submission of the officers' reports.  The program will be “National Park Historic Sites” by Fred Moll.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:23.